Ukrainian food initiative; and chocolate galore this Easter
It’s Easter again – the annual license for The Menu to snub Mrs. Menu and gorge on chocolate.
Award-winning young Irish pastry chef and chocolatier, Gráinne Mullins, has individual Easter eggs that are definitely worth seeking out, including delicious dark chocolate with sea salt flakes and fluffy caramel, milk chocolate with candied hazelnuts and gianduja with hazelnuts and white chocolate. with strawberry chocolate.
Another favorite around these pieces is the luxurious handmade and decorated eggs by Dublin-based Belgian chocolatier Erik Van der Veken. Its new Easter collection includes six different versions of its large, multi-faceted eggs, all featuring beautiful handmade flavor combinations, including Treasure of the Rainforest, made with wild Bolivian Criollo Amazonico cacao couverture; Caramel Crunch, composed of gold nuggets and hazelnuts from Piedmont, Red Fruits in white chocolate, with strawberries, raspberries and freeze-dried yoghurt; The Millionaire, sprinkled with crunchy malt biscuits, among others. And miniature pick boxes are also available.
Delivery everywhere in France, free from 60€ of purchase
Market traders in England have, unsurprisingly, all sorts of wonderful Easter offers, starting with the much-loved Chocolate Shop at The Menu (chocolate.ie), the best place in Ireland to stock up on Easter chocolate bars. top quality single origin from around the world, as well as a selection of boxes and baskets. But for those looking for fish for Good Friday (although The Menu believes fish makes any day a ‘good’ day!), then the fishmongers at O’Connell, Ballycotton Seafood and Hederman’s Smoked Fish and Seafood have you more than covered. And of course, Easter lamb is available in abundance from any market butcher, especially another menu favourite, O’Mahony’s.
The Cork International Hotel has launched a luxurious chocolate-themed Easter Afternoon Tea for the whole month of April, featuring savory bites and chocolate treats, served from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily, with a collection also available for home consumption.
The Franciscan Well Bar & Brewpub on Cork’s North Mall hosts an evening with Ger Buckley, Jameson’s Master Cooper, which includes a tasting of Jameson whiskeys and Franciscan Well beers, a welcome return to live events in the charming beer garden of the craft beer bar. April 14, 7 p.m.
And while we’re chocolate-themed, Porterhouse Brew Co (porterhousebrewco.ie) is offering a limited release of quite delicious Chocolate Truffle Stout for Easter and The Wine Buff has put together a special range of wine pairings for accompany chocolate for Easter (thewinebuff.com)
This week The Menu was particularly proud of the Irish food world, both ‘big and small’, for the way they came together to support Bia do Ukraine. This is an initiative to send Irish produce to southern Poland, 10 miles from the Ukrainian border, where the amazing chef-run US humanitarian organization World Central Kitchen is cooking food for refugees from the war in Ukraine in mobile kitchens set up in Moldova. , Romania, Hungary, Poland and even in Ukraine.
It started with the very wonderful Sheridan Brothers of Sheridan’s Cheesemongers who decided to send some Irish Farmhouse Cheese to WCK, and then The Menu joined the Sheridans in going “around the houses with the ‘Beggar’s Bowl’.” To be honest, not for a moment did he feel like begging as all arms were wide open, from the smallest specialty food producers to the biggest Irish food companies, all eager to contribute , with Musgrave Marketplace also donating the use of an articulated lorry to transport cargo to Przemyśl in southeastern Poland. This is driven by the team of uncle and nephew, Niall and Matt Daniels, who volunteered for the mission.
The huge consignment includes nearly 1,500kg of Irish Farmhouse cheese from some of Ireland’s finest specialty cheesemakers, creamery cheddar from Carbery, Tipperary Co-Op (also donated butter), Kerry Group, Ornua, milk shelf stable from Lakeland Dairies, flour and oats from Ballymore Organics, Tartine Dublin, Kells Wholemeal (also pasta), Oak Forest Mills and Musgrave’s, tea bags from Barry’s and Musgrave’s, and brown bread and crackers oats from Sheridan’s and Regale, in West Cork.
We hope to launch more deliveries under the Bia do Ukraine banner and The Menu will keep you posted on that front.
In a column almost entirely chocolate-themed this week, with more chocolate on view than at Willie Wonka’s wedding, The Menu would also like to remember those with genuine food intolerances.
Accordingly, The Menu is delighted to make special mention of several chocolate-related offerings from Jiminy.ie, Ireland’s eco-toy store. The Chocolatey Clare range is vegan and dairy free and wrapped in home compostable film and The Menu is delighted to announce that the bars it sampled (Simply Strawberry, Lemon Crunch, Salted Peanut, Mint Creme, Ginger Crisp, Really Raspberry) were all made from premium Criollo 57% couverture, with balanced flavors appealing to all ages, with a range of candies also available. Additionally, Jiminy also offers PLAYin Choc, the most great tasting chocolate with just four ingredients, and certified vegan, certified organic, and free of soy, nuts, gluten, or dairy, and a lovely little keepsake toy also included.
Granted, this is a cheerful little bunny made of sturdy cardboard for simple assembly, not quite the pizzazz of the more usual molded plastic offerings, but it’ll be more than enough and certainly won’t end, as these disposable trinkets invariably do, adding to the crushing mountains of single-use, planet-destroying plastic we are meant to keep when these young recipients come of age.
Happy Easter and may Chocolate be with you!